By Michael D. Abernethy / Times-News
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 17:42 PM.

GRAHAM - A Burlington man pleaded guilty Tuesday to using an Oregon man’s Social Security number to get work at two Alamance County businesses.

Silvino Lopez Palacios, 47, of Atwater Street in Burlington, was charged with two counts of identity theft after the victim was turned down for an extension of his disability benefits in spring 2012.

Charles Gogun was told he couldn’t get disability any longer because he was employed in Burlington, said Alamance County Assistant District Attorney Paul Soderberg. The victim’s mother, with whom he lives, knew that wasn’t the case. She called Burlington police and two employers mentioned by the Social Security Administration.

Burlington police investigated and found that Palacios had been employed at Alamance Foods and Gate City of Burlington since at least 2005. He’d used Gogun’s Social Security number to obtain employment.

Gogun was able to remain on disability and the issue was resolved with the Social Security Administration rather quickly, Soderberg said.

Palacios had lived in Alamance County about nine years, said defense attorney Rowena Khot. He has two children and is their sole supporter, although he also has other family in the area, she said. Palacios had been in jail since his arrest seven months ago and is under a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer.

Superior Court Judge James E. Hardin Jr. sentenced Palacios to eight to 10 months in prison with credit for time served.

Palacios could be deported. ICE had two days as of Tuesday to determine whether it would pursue a case against him, Khot said.

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